Curriculum and Course Development Essay

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Curriculum and Course Development

Debate the issue of having a theoretical framework from nursing serve as the organizing framework of a curriculum. Discuss the pros and cons, and defend your position of the matter.

A nursing theoretical framework represents a valuable starting point for developing timely and relevant curricular offerings for both nursing and non-nursing courses in healthcare settings today (Keating). According to Keating, "Although the debate continues about nursing as a science and a discipline, in most nursing education circles, a metaparadigm for the nursing discipline is recognized and included in the philosophy and organizing framework of the curriculum" (p. 167). In addition, Keating points out that a nursing theoretical framework helps to ensure that nothing is omitted from the curricular offerings.

A theoretical framework from nursing also provides practitioners with a way to organize curricular offerings in ways that align with educational developmental goals (Cook & Cullen, 2003). For instance, McKimm emphasizes that, "The aim of educational development is to ensure that the official curriculum is delivered as the functional curriculum and there is not a mismatch as development turns into implementation" (p. 3). Many nursing theoretical foundations also incorporate diversity and cross-cultural factors that make their application in a wide range of healthcare practice settings possible (Scisney-Matlock, McCloud & Barnard, (2001). Despite these advantages, there remains a paucity of evidence-based practice research in the nursing literature and some of the nursing research to date is based on anecdotal and individual case studies that lack the rigor and robust qualities required for gold standard clinical research (Cook & Cullen, 2003).

Case Study #1: McLanahan University

1.

How should the curriculum committee proceed with the work yet to be done?

Because the curriculum committee has received approval of the outcome statements and formulated the level competencies, the next step involves developing and receiving approval of the course design. In this regard, Iwasiw, Andrusyszyn and Goldenberg advise, "Course design proceeds once the curriculum design is approved. The level, year, or semester competencies, brief course descriptions, and draft course competencies developed during curriculum design become the starting point for designing courses."

2.

What should the curriculum committee consider next?

According to Keating, a useful factor to consider next is the cost analysis of the budget in order to identify specific costs and provide funding for the different supporting functions for the curriculum. According to this authority, "Academic and infrastructure support systems are analyzed for congruency with the mission. An example from nursing is an institution's support and commitment to a nurse-managed primary care clinic that serves the underserved and unserved populations of the community in which the institution is located."

3.

What resources would assist the committee in its curriculum design process?

The curricular design process can be facilitated by drawing on resources such as nursing professional organizations, guidelines from national accrediting organizations, standards required by federal and states laws, and other localized- and regional-specific issues that should be taken into account.

4.

What should be included in the curriculum design?

Although every healthcare classroom situation will be unique in some ways, there are some minimum components that should be included in the curriculum design, including the following:

1.

Mission/Vision.

2.

Philosophy.

a.

Beliefs and teaching and learning processes.

b.

Critical thinking.

c.

Diversity and cultural competence.

d.

Genetics.

e.

Social justice.

f.

Research and evidence-based practice.

g.

Informatics and technology.

h.

Quality health care and patient safety.

Nursing paradigm.

3.

Organizational framework and concept mapping.

4.

Overall program goal and purpose.

5.

Implementation plan.

a.

Student learning outcomes (SLOs; end-of-program objectives).

b.

Level objectives.

c.

Course objectives.

d.

Course prerequisites.

e.

Course descriptions.

f.

Content outlines.

g.

Course schedule.

h.

Learning activities.

Evaluation methods (Keating, pp. 149-150)

5.

How will the curriculum nucleus influence the curriculum design?

According to Iwasiw et al., "The curriculum nucleus simultaneously comprises the foundation and the essence of the curriculum. It is composed of the core curriculum concepts, key professional abilities, principal teaching-learning approaches, and the philosophical approaches" (p. 137). Although the curriculum nucleus will influence the initial curriculum design, the process is iterative and dynamic, with new experiences influencing subsequent thinking (Iwasiw et al.).

6.

How could nursing and non-nursing courses be determined?

The curriculum design committee or other groups or individual tasked… [END OF PREVIEW]

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